White Sox's Carter Shines In Team USA Bullpen
CHICAGO—It's one thing getting a save in the Southern League, and another doing it against the top hitters in Cuba.
Anthony Carter, who started the season as a Double-A starter, passed both tests during a season in which he put himself into serious consideration for a spot on the White Sox's 40-man roster.
Carter was selected for Team USA after emerging as an all-star closer for Birmingham. He did not disappoint in Puerto Rico, making four scoreless outings in the Pan Am Qualifying Tournament, the last of which came over powerful Cuba.
Carter entered with a 4-1 lead in the eighth, the tying run in the on-deck circle. He retired Alexei Bell to end the inning and then set down the Cubans on one hit in the ninth, retiring Yulieski Gourriel, Alfredo Despaigne and Yoennis Cespedes. Bell and Despaigne each have set single-season home run records in Cuba in the last five years.
"The intensity level of these events is amazing," said Kirk Champion, the White Sox's minor league pitching coordinator and Team USA pitching coach. "We're never an underdog. We always get everybody's best game."
Carter, a 24-year-old righthander from Georgia Perimeter CC, was the White Sox's 26th-round pick in the 2005 draft. He had 22 saves for Birmingham, then allowed only one hit in four innings for Team USA.
"He's opened some eyes," Champion said. "We're sending him from here to the (Arizona) Fall League. He's not a high-profile guy but hopefully he will be a nice surprise."
Carter was 11-7, 4.36 as a starter for high Class A Winston-Salem. He opened 2010 in the Birmingham rotation but was shifted to the bullpen early. He gained velocity on his fastball working out of the bullpen, working in the mid-90s most of the time.
Carter kept pitching well upon arrival in Arizona. He threw hitless innings for the Peoria Saguaros in his first two outings, striking out five and walking none.
• Catcher Josh Phegley, the 38th-overall pick in the 2009 draft, was dropped off the AFL roster because he continues to have problems from a condition known as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), which is a bleeding condition that affects clotting. He played in only 48 games this year. The Sox hoped he could make up lost time in the AFL but blood tests showed his condition hadn't improved enough.
• Following a strong year in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League, 21-year-old righthander Jean Duque was pitching for Caracas in the Venezuelan League.